I just moved to a new city and joined a gym I’m excited about. I’ve been unhappy with my (lack of) fitness for a few years now—I have trouble keeping up with my fitter friends, and I have some body image issues that have been popping up more and more often. I really like this gym and the community they’ve created. I also absolutely love the workouts—they make me feel powerful and strong in a way I haven’t in years. The problem is, quite frankly, my old friends in the city I just left. I know basically no one in my new city, so my old friends are a crucial social connection for me. They are very into body positivity/health at every size. This is great! I think everyone should feel comfortable in their bodies! But my closest friends make negative comments whenever I bring up my gym or how happy I am with it. They say I’m “selling out” and make disparaging remarks about how I represent the patriarchy because I’ve internalized messages about thinness. It’s pretty upsetting to feel excited about a new development in my life, only to get shot down by folks who I’ve supported in their own endeavors. Do you have any thoughts on how I can get my friends to be more supportive, while not coming off as judgey for choices I’m making that they’re not?
— Fraught Fitness